The meaning of – Get the wrong end of the stick

English idioms and expressions are a great way to make your English sound more advanced but the important thing is to use them correctly, otherwise it would be better not to use them! So my Meaning of posts are there to help you use these chunks of language in a way that sounds natural. Today’s post will help you to use ‘get the wrong end of the stick’ in everyday conversation.

To get the wrong end of the stick means to misunderstand a situation. It’s a lovely, natural expression to use if you need to tell somebody that they have misunderstood something they saw or heard.

Perhaps you are organising a surprise birthday party for your boyfriend so you have been sending secret text messages to his best friend. He sees that you have been contacting his friend and assumes that you are having an affair. Of course he has got the wrong end of the stick and there is a completely innocent explanation.

You boyfriend accuses you of having an affair and you say:

Don’t be crazy! You’ve got the wrong end of the stick! If you must know, we are organising a birthday party for you!

Can you think of another situation where somebody might misunderstand and you could use this phrase? Pop your ideas in the comments box below and I will check them for you 🙂

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Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

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